Issues of interaction between Islam and Orthodoxy, common traditional values of the two confessions, destruction of moral guidelines, Russian and international experience in this area - these and other issues were the subject of discussion at the International Conference “Orthodoxy and Islam – Inter-Confessional Dialogue in Achieving Global Peace”, held on November 15 at the Imperial Palestine Orthodox Society in the capital of the Russian Federation.
The event is one of the key activities of the Group of Strategic Vision “Russia – Islamic World” to support dialogue between religious, intellectual and cultural organizations.
The main aim of the event was to unite state, religious, public, educational and scientific structures in the development of inter-confessional dialogue.
The conference was organized by the Group of Strategic Vision together with the Imperial Palestinian Orthodox Society, Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Russian Orthodox Church and Spiritual Administrations of Muslims of Russia also supported the event.
Public, political and religious figures from Russia and foreign countries participated in the conference in online and offline formats. A total of 19 reports were read out.
In their speeches the experts noted the challenges facing the world today and the role of dialogue between representatives of the two confessions in addressing these challenges and ensuring security in the world. In addition to it, the participants spoke about the importance of education in the development of interreligious dialogue.
The event began with the welcoming address of Rustam Minnikhanov, President of Tatarstan and Chairman of the Group, which was read out by Farit Mukhametshin, Deputy Chairman of the Group of Strategic Vision “Russia – Islamic World”.
Minnikhanov noted that the conference was taking place in the memorable year of the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria, which, he said, largely determined the inter-confessional and interethnic vector of development.
“In Russia, great attention is paid to the inter-confessional experience of consolidating interethnic harmony,” the President of the Republic of Tatarstan noted.
Farit Mukhametshin, Deputy Chairman of the Group of Strategic Vision, Deputy Chairman of the Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, stressed that the modern world constantly faced challenges that threatened world security, and that conference aimed to preserve the spiritual and moral foundations of humanity.
“Achieving peace through inter-confessional dialogue in this context is very important,” he added.
Chairman of the Imperial Palestinian Orthodox Society Sergey Stepashin said that what was happening today was not a dialogue, but a conversation between Islam and Orthodoxy about common goals in the fight against common evil, and understanding of common threats was of paramount importance in that context.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov conveyed to the conference participants an address by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov which noted the importance of traditional values:
“We are convinced that universal solidarity must be based on timeless traditional values common to the main confessions and cultures. Russian diplomacy will continue to promote this subject at various international venues and help to build up a broad inter-civilizational and interreligious partnership”.
The politician noted that the conference would contribute to the common efforts to consolidate friendship and trust between peoples and would produce the practical recommendations that are needed.
Russia’s Supreme Mufti Talgat Hazrat Tadzhuddin said that Islam and Orthodoxy were religions of one God and the dialogue between them had lasted for centuries. Talgat Hazrat noted that the relations between the two confessions should be based on the Quranic commandment: “Help each other in piety, but do not help each other in sin and enmity”.
Vladyka Kirill, Metropolitan of Kazan and Tatarstan, spoke to the conference participants about piety as the basis of any religion and the dialogue between them.
How Orthodox and Muslims are defending our homeland in such difficult times was told by Russian and Luhansk People’s Republic hero, Candidate of Political Sciences, Police Major-General Alaudinov Apti Aronovich, who is now on the front line in Donbass. He noted that Muslims and Christians must unite, and it is said in the scriptures.
“Times will come when Muslims and Christians unite... Each of us can call God whatever we want, but we know that God is one,” Alaudinov said. He stressed that Islam and Orthodoxy were the two closest religions, and that Muslims-citizens of the Russian Federation accepted the obligations imposed on them and, along with Orthodox Christians, stood up for God’s values and the homeland.
“If we cannot unite and do the job we are called to do, we will be criminals,” Alaudinov said.
Most experts noted that the common values of Islam and Orthodoxy contributed to the preservation of morality and were the strongest tool against the destruction of society and universal evil.
The conference resulted in the setting of specific goals, among them the spiritual and moral education of young people, the development of social projects, religious education and the strengthening of interreligious dialogue.
On the basis of the reports of the international conference, the final information and analytical material will be published in three languages: Russian, English and Arabic.
Press service of
The Group of Strategic Vision
"Russia - Islamic World"